Worker dies after being ‘ingested’ into plane engine at Alabama airport

A worker died at an Alabama airport after being “ingested into the engine” of a plane, authorities said.

The incident occurred at Montgomery Regional Airport around 3 p.m. Saturday as an American Airlines Embraer 170 was parked at a gate with at least one of its engines on, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The worker was on the ramp shortly before the plane was scheduled to depart for Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport when the individual was somehow pulled into one of the plane’s engines.

The person has not been identified. KRLD reported that the worker was a baggage handler.

The NTSB and Federal Aviation Administration are both investigating, with the NTSB saying its preliminary report will be issued in two to three weeks.

Montgomery Regional Airport confirmed the worker was employed by Piedmont Airlines, an American Airlines subsidiary.

“We are saddened to hear about the tragic loss of a team member of the AA/Piedmont Airlines,” Montgomery Regional Airport executive director Wade A. Davis said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.”

After grounding all flights after the incident, the airport resumed operations several hours later.